The Consolider-Ingenio 2010 project SCARCE, with the full title “Assessing and predicting effects on water quantity and quality in Iberian Rivers caused by global change” aims to examine and predict the relevance of global change on water availability, water quality, and ecosystem services in Mediterranean river basins of the Iberian Peninsula, as well as their socio-economic impacts. Starting in December 2009, it brought together a multidisciplinary team of 11 partner Spanish institutions, as well as the active involvement of water authorities, river basin managers, and other relevant agents as stakeholders.
The study areas are the Llobregat, Ebro, Jucar, and Guadalquivir river basins. These basins have been included in previous studies and projects, the majority of whom considered some of the aspects included in SCARCE but individually. Historical data will be used as a starting point of the project but also to obtain longer time series. The main added value of SCARCE project is the inclusion of scientific disciplines ranging from hydrology, geomorphology, ecology, chemistry, and ecotoxicology, to engineering, modeling, and economy, in an unprecedented effort in the Mediterranean area. The project performs data mining, field, and lab research as well as modeling and upscaling of the findings to apply them to the entire river basin.
Scales ranging from the laboratory to river basins are addressed with the potential to help improve river basin management. The project emphasizes, thus, linking basic research and management practices in a single framework. In fact, one of the main objectives of SCARCE is to act as a bridge between the scientific and the management and to transform research results on management keys and tools for improving the River Basin Management Plans. Here, we outline the general structure of the project and the activities conducted within the ten Work Packages of SCARCE.